The South Central Federation of Labor’s Committee on Political Education (COPE) will hold its 54th annual Bean Feed dinner on Wednesday, May 22, starting at 6 p.m. at the Madison Labor Temple (1602 S. Park Street). The meal will be served from 6:00 until 7:15 p.m. (more…)
A few weeks ago the citizens of this small, conservative Alpine country did something no other country has been able to do. They brought to heel the corporate bosses whose reckless money grabs have so efficiently stolen salary, pensions, and benefits from the people who do the actual work in a company.
The mechanism the Swiss used was simple. They passed the “Minder Initiative,” a referendum mandating that company stockholders vote on the pay of its executives. A small step, to be sure, but it gets better. (more…)
By Keith A. Steffen, NALC Branch 507 Retiree
On Wednesday, February 6, Postmaster General Donahoe announced his intention to cut back mail delivery from 6 days to 5 days per week, effective August 12. The USPS also plans to close about 200 mail processing plants in addition to the 200 closed in the last six years. As many as 3000 small post offices may be closed over the next few years. These cutbacks will not improve the position of the USPS. Savings estimates for these measures fail to factor in the lost business opportunities incurred by reducing service.
The Postal Service has already relaxed delivery standards as a result of closing processing plants. In other words, mail is already being delayed. Shorter hours of operation for customer windows mean fewer chances for people to buy stamps and other products and less access for picking up parcels and held mail.
Many businesses and rural areas rely on 6-day delivery. The USPS delivers checks and other important documents, pharmaceuticals, live animals such as chicks, ducklings and other birds, eggs for incubation, bees and other insects, live plants and other perishables that must be delivered in a timely manner. Many businesses rely on 6-day delivery to provide prompt service to their customers. Small businesses are increasingly operated from private homes and would even benefit from delivery 7 days a week, as would catalogue-based businesses.
The primary cause of postal fiscal problems is legislation mandating a $5-1/2 billion annual payment to prefund retiree health care benefits. No other business or government agency in the country shares this obligation. The legislation was passed in 2006 by a lame duck Congress on a voice vote. This prefunding accounts for 80 percent of postal red ink since it was passed. A bill that would have corrected the unnecessary prepayment was cosponsored by more than half of the House in 2012. It was blocked by committee chair Rep. Darryl Issa who introduced a bill with only one other cosponsor.
The second most important factor in postal economics is the recession. This recession was caused by the removal of many of the regulations on financial interests by people committed to seeing government fail. They have an ideological investment in ensuring that government not succeed. A successful institution like the USPS is a special target for them.
The USPS is successful in many ways. U.S. citizens perennially rank the Postal Service as the most highly rated federal institution in the country. The USPS delivers nearly half of all the mail in the world. Postal rates are lower here than in any other nonsubsidized postal system, even though transportation distances are higher than in most countries.
It provides 500,000 middle-class jobs, employing more Americans than any other civilian workforce except Wal-Mart and at a higher living standard. It hires a greater proportion of minorities than many employers. Forty percent of postal staff are women. It is the largest employer of our military veterans. Thirty thousand of these jobs could be lost if delivery days are reduced, further fueling the recession.
The USPS is not in debt. Not only are retiree health benefits overfunded, but it also has surplus funds in the Civil Service and Federal Employee Retirement Systems. These funds could be transferred to balance operating losses. This action would not be a taxpayer bailout. All funds placed in those accounts come from the sale of stamps and other products and services.
The way to strengthen the U.S. Postal Service is to improve and expand service to the American people. The USPS is a constitutionally authorized program designed to provide a communications network for public use. We can demand that this network be upgraded continuously, like any other part of our national infrastructure.
Postal customers who want stronger public postal service can contact their Congressional representatives and ask them to eliminate the retiree health benefit prefunding obligation. Encourage them to cosponsor House Resolution 30, introduced by Missouri Republican Rep. Sam Graves on January 15, 2013, which ensures continuing 6-day delivery. As of February 15, H.R. 30 had 90 cosponsors, including Rep. Mark Pocan and Rep. Gwen Moore of Wisconsin. Other legislation to strengthen the USPS is pending, including H.R. 630 from Rep. DeFazio and S. 316 from Senator Sanders.
More information about postal issues can be found online at the National Association of Letter Carriers websites, nalc.org or deliveringforamerica.com. Another advocacy group, Community and Postal Workers United, can be found at cpwunited.com/home.
“Ed Fallone is the most qualified candidate running for Wisconsin Supreme Court,” said Phil Neuenfeldt, President of the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO. “He has the experience, integrity and independence to ensure that the law is applied fairly and equally to all Wisconsinites. We believe he will be an ethical and impartial judge bringing balance and civility to our courts.”
The two candidates who get the most votes on Tuesday will advance to the general election on April 2. The Supreme Court race impacts every person living in Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Supreme Court has the final say in key issues like voting rights, redistricting rules, Act 10 challenges and more!
Turnout is expected to be low this Tuesday so remind all your friends and family to get out and cast their ballot.
Corporate contributors, many from out of state, have bought a 4-3 conservative majority on the Wisconsin Supreme Court which has become extremely dysfunctional and highly partisan. Patience Roggensack, whom Ed Fallone is challenging, has received $20,000 in campaign contributions from Walmart owners and Amway founders, both leaders in the movement to privatize education. Roggensack is backed by a number of corporate special interest groups including the Tea-Party group Wisconsin Club for Growth.
Ed Fallone will restore integrity to the court because he is independent and will base his decisions on the law, not serve large corporate interests to insure their continued contributions.
Fallone’s qualifications are impressive:
• Associate Professor at Marquette University Law School
• Expert in Constitutional, Corporate and Criminal Law
• Graduated magna cum laude from Boston University School of Law
• Law practice spanning 24 years in both federal and state courts
• Represented clients in complex corporate litigation and shareholder lawsuits
• Served on the Steering Committee of Catholic Charities Legal Services for Immigrants and on the Board of Trustees of Catholic Charities of the Milwaukee Archdiocese
• Involved in nonprofit organizations increasing access to justice for those who have difficulties using the legal system
–Wisconsin State AFL-CIO
The prospects for comprehensive immigration reform are the highest in years, and the AFL-CIO plans to deploy the labor movement’s grassroots infrastructure to pass sensible reforms that keep families united, allow workers to come out from shadows, and that protect workers rights.
The labor movement is working around a unified framework for a comprehensive immigration system with four interconnected parts: rational border control, an effective worker authorization system, a system to manage future immigration to the United States, and a road map to citizenship for the undocumented population currently living here.
We’re asking you to sign the pledge to fight for a common-sense immigration process that creates a road map to citizenship for aspiring Americans.
No to Employer Sanctions
Amy Dean argues here that the biggest mistake would be to continue “employer sanctions” which put employers, and not government, in the role of enforcing our nation’s immigration laws. Unless that is reversed, unscrupulous employers will continue to use the threat of an immigration raid to keep workers from standing up for themselves and exercising their rights.
In Milwaukee, Palermo’s Pizza workers who have been on strike since June 1, are still fighting for union recognition and the reinstatement of 90 workers who say they were illegally fired for trying to organize a union. The employer claims that the firings were caused by ICE and Homeland Security’s questions about the workers’ authorization to work in the U.S.
If you would still like to show your support for the Palermo’s Workers visit sliceofjustice.com or make an online donation or send a check to: Palermo Workers’ Union, 1027 S. 5th St, Milwaukee WI 53204
By Brian Austin
Over the past year, I have thought often of George Orwell’s novel 1984. Certain aspects of Orwell’s dystopian vision of the future have lingered with me since I first read his 1949 novel as a high school student, more years ago than I care to discuss. One of the parts of the book that made a lasting impression on me, far before my political consciousness fully emerged, was the use of doublespeak, language that deliberately distorts or reverses the meaning of words.
In Orwell’s novel, the government of Oceania was comprised of four ministries: the Ministry of Peace, which supported Oceania’s perpetual state of war, the Ministry of Truth, which was responsible for the complete rewriting of history to support the goals of the regime, the Ministry of Plenty, which was responsible for the severe rationing of basic necessities while claiming to be raising the standard of living, and the Ministry of Love, whose agents sought to identify and crush any form of dissidence against the government. In the nation of Oceania, war was peace, freedom was slavery, and ignorance was strength. Orwell’s novel highlighted the power of propaganda when combined with the fear produced by a totalitarian state.
I have become intensely interested in this subject with renewed enthusiasm in the past few years while watching the corporate takeover of our political system. That interest has peaked over the past 16 months while witnessing the attack in Wisconsin on workers, women, the poor, and the environment at the hands of our government.
We have seen a disturbing phenomenon over the past decade regarding the use of Orwellian-type doublespeak in the corporate takeover of America. In particular, the Republican Party has been absolutely masterful in utilizing language in a way that doesn’t merely change the meaning of words, but changes peoples’ perception of the very policies and conditions that affect their dailylives. Doublespeakhasbeenahuge factor in convincing people to vote against their own interests.
Over the past few years, as the GOP has become more and more extreme in its ideology and policy, an entire vocabulary of phrases has been intentionally concocted in the halls of right wing think tanks and spread with disciplined commitment by Republican politicians. These precise messages have been crafted by men like Frank Luntz, a GOP pollster andstrategist. Luntzhasbeenabsolutely instrumental in helping to create the language of today’s GOP. Luntz truly understands the power of language, as evidencedbythisexcerptfroman article he wrote in 2011 for the Huffington Post:
“Words matter. The most powerful words have helped launch social movements and cultural revolutions. The most effective words have instigated great change in public policy. The right words at the right time can literally change history.”
Luntz is a master of the use of language to redefine truth: He taught the GOP to use the phrase “death tax” instead of “estate tax,” the phrase “deep sea energy exploration” instead of “off-shore drilling,” and “economic freedom” instead of “capitalism.” And while his skills as a wordsmith are undeniable, his ethics are far more questionable. He has been censured by both the American Association for Public Opinion research and the National Council on Public Polls for suspect polling methods and results. He remains, however, extremely influential in the messaging of the Republican Party.
“Right to work,” for example, was a phrase concocted by the GOP and corporate lobbying groups to describe union-busting legislation that is sweeping Republican-controlled statehouses across the nation. “Right to work” has nothing to do with worker’s rights, unless you count the right of selfish workers to freeload benefits on the backs of dues-paying members.
[pullquote align="right" textalign="left" width="30%"] “But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.” – George Orwell, 1984[/pullquote]Next, we have the term “job creators.” No GOP press conference in the past few years would be complete without this term. “Jobcreators” is GOP code for rich people, and, yes, it is a term manufactured by none other than Frank Luntz. The problem, as people like Luntz discovered, is that struggling Americans don’t like hearing about rich people, particularly when it is in the context of tax breaks and outsourced labor on the backs of working people. In order to make gluttonous tax breaks for the wealthy palatable to the American people, the GOP redefined the wealthy as “job creators,” and parroted the phrase incessantly to the national media. If college kids used the phrase as a drinking game during a John Boehner speech, everyone playing would be grossly intoxicated at the conclusion of his remarks.
The creation of the phrase “job creators” is pure genius, because it taps right in to the core self-interest that currently motivates the majority of Americans. By calling the rich “job creators,” it delivers to people an implied warning that their future success, and their employment, is inextricably tied to the success of wealthy, so the masses better leave them alone. In reality, the middle and working class in this country are the job creators, because they drive our predominantly consumer-based economy. Henry Ford understood this when he took the unprecedented action of paying his workers a substantial wage of five dollars per day. Yet we see how powerful the phrase has been for the GOP in successfully promoting tax policies that favor the rich to a degree that would have made Ronald Reagan blush.
Freedom for What?
Another term that has been utterly distorted and savaged by the GOP is “Freedom.” Freedom used to mean something wonderful in America. In 1944, Franklin D. Roosevelt talked about his idea of freedom in his State of the Union address to the American public. Roosevelt told the nation that freedom was something that was achieved when the needs of all Americans were met, not just the needs of the wealthy. Roosevelt’s speech is well worth the read. It inspires me and renews my commitment to fight to restore the true values of this nation.
This notion of freedom, by the way, was once not limited to Democratic politicians. Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower had a vision of freedom that bears zero resemblance to the vision of the current Republican party. I have no doubt that this great man would have been defeated in a Tea Party primary if he ran today.
“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.”
“Only a fool would try to deprive working men and working women of their right to join the union of their choice.”
Today, the word freedom in GOP-speak means something far different, so different that it makes it almost impossible for me to reconcile that this is the party of Lincoln. It is the freedom of corporations to treat workers like chattel, pollute our environment, injure our citizens without fear of lawsuit, and move our industry overseas. It is the freedom of financial institutions to extract the wealth from our nation, collapse our economy through unbridled greed, and receive bail outs when the house of cards falls. It is the freedom of religious zealots to impose their beliefs on a secular society, to deny groups of people civil rights, to hurt others in God’s name, and to interpret scripture in a way thoroughly inconsistent with Judeo-Christian values. It is the freedom of employers to deny health care to cancer patients, as was just espoused by Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson.
Earned Benefits or ‘Entitlements’
To my readers on the left, I am asking each and every one of you to commit to joining me in pushing back against the very language that is used to further the immoral agenda of today’s corporate right wing. Words can literally change history. Words can create greatness, but they can also devastate, particularly when used to deceive a populace, and we should never underestimate this power. Start tuning your ear to the GOP corporate doublespeak, and tirelessly challenge those who utilize it, particularly in the media. Don’t passively accept language that was created in the recesses of think tanks with the intent to deceive our nation. That language becomes reality when it is allowed to flourish. Instead, create your own terms that reflect the truth of the corporate domination of the GOP. Instead of “right to work,” call it “anti-worker legislation.” Instead of “job creators,” how about “Un-American tax dodgers”? Instead of “freedom from regulation,” call it “corporate lawlessness.” Use whatever terms you want, but stop legitimizing doublespeak through your silent acceptance.
To my readers in the center, all I ask of you is to start to question these terms when you hear them. Ask yourself if they reflect reality, or are merely being used to create a false reality. Make your own decision based on facts, and if you conclude I am right, I hope you feel compelled to help change the national vocabulary.
To the corporate right and your elected minions that control this nation, all I say to you is that you use this language at your own peril. Once the American people realize they have been deceived, they won’t be happy or charitable or kind. People just don’t like to be suckered, and you aren’t as charismatic as PT Barnum. Furthermore, understand that you are using a parlor trick of language that has a rich tradition in the most brutal regimes in the world’s history, all of which ultimately saw their own demise.
Finally, to the media, you have a responsibility to use language that was not created for the sole purpose of deceiving the public you are supposed to serve. I recognize that much of our media is controlled by corporate influences, and as such, the use of this language may be intentional. But for those journalists who use these terms out of convenience or sloth, you need to engage in some serious soul searching. By reporting on things such as Walker’s “reforms,” you are making an inherent value judgment that you are passing on to your consumers, and that value judgment is based upon artfully crafted lies. The public deserves better.
I will end as I began, with a quote:
“By the skillful and sustained use of propaganda, one can make a people see even heaven as hell or an extremely wretched life as paradise.” – Adolph Hitler, 1943
The power of words.
Brian Austin is a City of Madison police detective and member of the SWAT team as well as board member for his union. He is a founding member of “Cops for Labor,” and during the Wisconsin Uprising he worked long shifts on duty around the Capitol and joined the protest as soon as his shift ended. Austin blogs at cops4labor.blogspot.com.
By Kevin Gundlach, SCFL President – What took you so long? We’ve been waiting.” It’s what more than one community member, living in the Madison Southdale neighborhood asked me while we were canvassing. Although I was there to collect signatures, I knew the comment meant so much more than an election.
Months later, that question and comment was being answered in the upstairs hall of the Madison Labor Temple. Over 70 exuberant people representing public and private sector unions and community organizations showed up to be a part of something new and exciting. They were there for a first- time program that had two names: at first, it was called the “Community Outreach Program” and within days, it became known as “Doors Less Knocked.”
Although the “Doors Less Knocked” name connotes an electoral purpose and arose out of the immediate need and desire to reach eligible voters from diverse neighborhoods via canvassing, the “community outreach program” was about building a coalition with neighborhoods and communities, which would not only transcend the electoral process, but actually strengthen it.
A little bit of explanatory history: for years now, residents from diverse areas have rarely been talked to by labor unions during election cycles. There were multiple reasons given for this. The most compelling reason is that labor ran member-to-member campaigns, which legally restricted communications to only union households. We Are Wisconsin changed all of that by conducting outreach to the community at large, and the AFL-CIO might just follow their lead. If so, we will be able to conduct electoral outreach to not only union households, but all workers and community members. Either way, it’s time to build on what we have.
Another reason for the lack of outreach: certain populations, such as those living in apartments, were considered either unreliable, sporadic voters or just the opposite–“low-hanging fruit” who did not need to be reminded. Of course, we know if you never conduct outreach to a community, then it reinforces the fact they are less likely to get involved. Fortunately, we had dedicated volunteers, so we were able to do what should have been done a long time ago, without compromising the traditional program.
There was also a perception by some that locked apartments were too difficult to gain access to and wasted valuable time, especially when in the past, volunteers were not as numerous. As many of us know, a locked door was not able to keep us out of the Capitol building. It sure was not going to keep us from having conversations with our neighbors in Allied, Darbo, Northport, Bayview, Southdale, Lakepoint and elsewhere.
Finally, Madison and Dane County were producing decent results in terms of “voter turnout” and winning enough local elections for school board, city council and county board. To many, there was no apparent urgency to expend the energy, utilize valuable volunteer time or spend the resources in districts deemed to be unreliable. Oh, how things have changed.
Even so, there were legal restrictions on what labor could do in the past: labor was responsible for conducting outreach to labor. Although this strategy has its merits and was effective in the past, it still contributed to a natural disconnect with potential community allies.
A disconnect in one context can be an indicator of a greater dilemma to come. We all know we are certainly facing a greater dilemma.
To address the issues we face, SCFL is initiating a multi-prong approach, from supporting a statewide solidarity strike support network to being a partner with the UW-School for Workers’ very first Labor Leaders Forum. Labor education, workplace actions, community empowerment, a more effective electoral process and communications are imperative to rebuilding the labor movement. SCFL will continue to take an active role in these and other objectives.
One of the critical, fundamental steps we must take is to build new coalitions, lay down a foundation and have a concrete plan in place. “Community First,” the tentative name for our new coalition, is in its infant stages. We are building on the accomplishments of the “Doors Less Knocked” program. Teams of social workers, teachers, trades and plenty of others have developed relationships with neighborhoods throughout the Madison area.
In just our first informal meeting, held the night before the election, an outpouring of creative ideas sprouted forth. One of the first things we’ve done was to meet with and invite neighborhood leaders into the labor coalition, find out what concerns the community has, create ownership within the community, and then build ownership towards making change through an issue-oriented campaign. We will continue to meet with pastors and preachers in the neighborhoods, especially those from the African-American Churches association, Madison Urban Ministry, and the Interfaith Coalition for Worker Justice. We will reach out to organizations representing Latino, Hmong, African and Tibetan populations, to name just a few.
Any issue-oriented campaign must have buy-in and therefore ownership by the people living in our affected communities. Like the living wage campaign, which was won years ago via a labor-community coalition, our issue-oriented campaign, which will go beyond the November presidential election, must also be attainable. Whether it’s affordable housing, public safety, bringing in a decent grocery store, hosting a job fair, promoting quality jobs, creating community gardens or advocating for TIF projects, the community must have primary ownership and be in control. A victory will go a long way in building trust and strengthening the coalition. At the same time as a specific issue-oriented campaign, an early voter registration program could be implemented on a permanent basis–again, owned and run by community leaders. Labor also has the capacity to be a partner in more specific ways, by producing multi-lingual educational literature, recruiting translators and interpreters from our own ranks and mapping out neighborhoods.
When community organizations, neighborhoods and labor unions come together, we can and will move policies forward and we can and will empower ourselves collectively. A perspective from poor and working people within diverse neighborhoods is paramount to ensuring all voices will be heard, and that concrete results occur. By working together, we will be bringing low and moderate-income people together, thereby creating new organizing opportunities for community members and labor, increased civic engagement, education for the public at large, and improve the livelihoods of our friends and families.
The people are ready. It was heard loud and clear at the Get Out The Vote Concert where Jackson Browne, Tom Morello, Brother Ali, Tim McIlrath, Mike McColgan and the Solidarity Singers along with Sean Michael Dargan performed at the Labor Temple. Attendees wanted more community oriented events. The day after the election, middle-school children asked their teachers to be brought over to the Labor Temple, where SCFL gave the inquisitive and energetic bunch a tour. And a few days later, 150 high school seniors wore the blue fist Solidarity Wisconsin buttons at their graduation ceremony as a statement in support of workers rights.
The recurring theme is the same. There is hope for the future. People from all walks of life are ready for the next step. Labor is ready to take it with them.
When we first knocked on the doors, people who have been disenfranchised were excited to meet us and real conversations were the result. Many volunteers have knocked on the same doors multiple times, going back to the neighborhoods, and creating potentially long lasting relationships. It’s time to take it to the next level. We need to build on what we have before us. When we do, and we form those bonds and build that coalition, I for one, will never forget the people from Southdale who poignantly and philosophically said, “What took you so long? We’ve been waiting.”
Solidarity Sisters and Brothers of our unions and the greater community of which we are all a part. Solidarity!
The results of the Wisconsin recall election were very similar to the first run of this match up in November 2010. This means that the radical right agenda of the GOPs elected in 2010 has not turned off the voters.
Which begs the question, how can a government of the 1% receive so much support from the 99%?
In the case of the Wisconsin election, there’s been a lot of finger pointing and speculation post-election–Citizens United allowed Walker to overwhelm Barrett financially; Obama didn’t come to Wisconsin; unions didn’t force the collective bargaining issue front and center. And so on.
Yet pre-election polling and Election Day exit polling showed that the vast majority of voters had taken their positions months before the serious campaigning began. So, the money and the celebrities made little difference. And people were already as informed on the issues as they wanted to be.
The fact is the radical right is very good at propaganda. They have used race and cultural issues to hold their base and they have used anti-government rhetoric to expand that base to majority status.
Walker, even more so than in 2010, ran against Milwaukee and Madison.
His negative ads against Barrett were actually negative ads against the Mayor’s city, Milwaukee. High unemployment, rising property taxes, crime, poverty. This is the tried and true GOP race card because everybody knows there’s a large number of dark skinned people in Milwaukee.
Madison, of course, is the state capitol where privileged bureaucrats are over paid, over benefited, and under worked. Walker did not dream up this argument. Even before his 2010 election a UW professor had done a lot of on-the-ground research and found that ordinary Wisconsinites outside of Madison had a very negative view of this city of large government office buildings, a fairly high standard of living, and liberal politics. Walker simply exploited an existing bias.
Exit polling showed Walker won the votes of a majority of non-college graduates and of way too many union households (ca. 37-38%) in both 2010 and 2012. Meanwhile, college graduates—the ever shrinking middle class—and the very poor did not vote for Walker.
In other words, way too much of the working class voted for Walker.
Progressives might smugly shake their heads and ask how can these people vote against their own interests. While some of them might simply be serious cultural conservatives or racists, probably a majority legitimately see themselves as actually voting in their own self interest.
People struggling to get by on $12-15 an hour have to watch every penny. And the Republican message of small government and low taxes sells well every time a worker pays sales tax, property tax, or income tax. And thanks in part to a gullible or lazy media which dutifully and uncritically repeats GOP propaganda about the eventual demise of Social Security and Medicare, struggling workers also have a jaundiced view of their payroll taxes. The Republicans, with their expensive wars and tax giveaways for the wealthy, are certainly not the party of small government and fiscal responsibility, but they have sold their message well.
If progressives hope to regain governing power, they have to win back the the working class. They might not be able to garner the support of the devoted racists and cultural conservatives, but they can and must win the loyalty of the others.
Obviously we need to ask them why they support a guy like Walker, and go from there. However, I would suggest that we can get started right away with the issue of taxes, not promising tax cuts, but rather tax fairness. At every level of government in the United States our tax structure is one of the most regressive in the world.
Obama, to his credit, has made some effort to address this by calling for the Buffet rule, which would lift taxes on millionaires, and an end to the Bush tax cuts for the super rich. Meanwhile, on network TV Bill Clinton undermines this effort by giving the Republican argument that rolling back these tax cuts would hurt the economy.
As has often been their wont, the Democrats do not seem to have a coherent and consistent philosophy on matters of important public policy. Nor do they appear to have a plan beyond the next election.
The Republicans clearly do.
Unions and other progressives must push the Democrats or some other vehicle to pursue a coherent and consistent pro-working class agenda, or we will continue to be governed by Walker types and to wring our hands over this state of affairs.
– Jim Cavanaugh is the recently-retired president of the South Central Federation of Labor.